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Pope meets, forgives Christmas-Eve assailant

Catholic World News - January 13, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI met with Susanna Maiolo, the woman who leapt a crowd barrier to confront him during Mass on Christmas Eve, after this regular public audience on Wednesday, January 13. Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, reported that Maiolo had expressed her regret for the incident—in which the Pope was pulled to the floor of the Vatican basilica—and the Holy Father had assured her of his forgiveness.

Father Lombardi said that inquiries about the incident by Vatican magistrates would “follow their course to their conclusion.” He had earlier suggested that if Maiolo is found to be emotionally unstable, the Vatican is unlikely to press charges. Maiolo was released this weekend from a psychiatric hospital where she was under observation.

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